#09, September 2021
THE ART WORK
Minimum Monument, Rome, 2020
Artist: Néle Azevedo
Title of work: Minimum Monument, Rome, 2020
Materials : sculpted ice
This installation is an ephemeral work that is part of the series Minimum Monument by the Brazilian artist Néle Azevedo. The human forms sculpted in the ice are faceless and anonymous, and stand as witnesses, observers of the Roman skyline. Members of the public are an integral part of the work and enter into a relationship with it: They are invited to choose a figure, to place it alongside the others, and then to watch it disappear as it melts over the course of some thirty minutes.
Raccords was struck by this work because it tells an ordinary person’s story rather than a hero’s. At the mercy of nature, and vulnerable to it as we face the climate emergency together, human beings discover a sense of humility. The work acts as an anti-monument, telling our collective story in a different way, on a scale that is the opposite of the ostentatious power and grand, indelible outlines of history and its monuments. The installation overturns hierarchy, pays homage to the forgotten victims of our narratives, and calls for a paradigm shift in the face of the climate emergency.
In its own way, Nele’s work of art embodies the power of narrative and makes room for the human trajectories the viewer projects onto it. In disrupting the viewer’s narrative environment, the sculpture leads her to recognize her voice and her power to act. This awareness is, in and of itself, a political action.
The MIS would like to thank Néle Azevedo for his contribution to Raccords.